Op-Ed: Going Through Agenda 2063’s Guiding Vision

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African Union Summit in Addis Ababa. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Agenda 2063’s guiding vision is to see “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.” Let’s look at this guiding vision carefully, point by point.

By Nnamdi Oranye

Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of our beautiful continent over the next 50 years. The next 50 years for us as a continent are critical. By 2030, Africa will have the largest workforce in the world. Can you imagine the possibilities that are opening up to us within just twenty years?

Or can you imagine how badly things will go if this large workforce becomes a liability to the world?

I’m optimistic. We have what it takes, and in effect nothing stops us from taking advantage of our time. Strategies such as Agenda 2063 are absolutely key for our generation going forward, and as such we shouldn’t treat such moments as simple paperwork but should seek to collectively hop on board and work for our future.

Agenda 2063 has seven aspirations it wants to reach by the year 2063. These are as follows.

– A Prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development

– An integrated continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance

– An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law

– A Peaceful and Secure Africa

– Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics

– An Africa whose development is people driven, relying on the potential offered by people, especially its women and youth and caring for children

– An Africa as a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner

It also has a unique way of getting there, as outlined by the web page at https://au.int/agenda2063/about. These are important details. However, what I want to do for our purposes here is examine each detail of the guiding vision and break it down, showing why it is relevant.

The guiding vision

Agenda 2063’s guiding vision is to see “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in international arena.” Let’s look at this guiding vision carefully, point by point.

  1. An integrated Africa

We’re getting there. The AU passport promises that by 2020, travelling in our beautiful continent will be significantly easier for citizens of our many nations. I don’t think we should ever sacrifice the local for the Pan-African, but I think that without the Pan-African and us working together we will not be able to tap into our tremendous potential.

  1. A prosperous Africa

This is a tough one, but it’s an ideal we can reach. We have the prosperity in our incredible natural resources, but we also have something more important than that – our mind.

This is so often missed yet it is so important. Have you ever wondered how come the one country to have an atomic bomb dropped on it (and not just one, but two), Japan, has persistently and consistently done so well in the last few decades? Have you even gone to see what kind of natural resources that nation has? It’s an island, basically, with very few natural resources and with every reason to live in the horrors of its past. But yet that’s not what we see there.

The answer is profoundly simple. Japan taps into the most valuable resources there is: people with ideas. It invests everything into ideas and making these ideas a reality. For decades it has put innovation at the top of its priorities. Even politics comes second to innovation! We have excellent innovation in Africa. We just need to see the value and invest!

  1. A peaceful Africa

I wonder if we don’t put too much emphasis on the politicians to achieve this, rather than take up responsibility for this ourselves. Rwanda is an unbelievable example right now of a nation that has put its past horrors and grievances aside and has looked to the future. When last did you visit Kigali? Let me give you a tip: go there. It’s a truly wonderful place. What I see in Rwanda is a nation that has begun to tap into its true potential and has begun to see the incredible value of innovation.

  1. Driven by its own citizens

This, for me, is such a pivotal point of this guiding vision. No one is going to get us where we can and should be except ourselves. We need to work together. We can’t leave it up to the politicians or the celebrities or the people in power. We have the power in our own two hands and in our own minds and hearts and we can do something with it.

  1. Representing a dynamic force in the international arena

Ultimately, this is the goal. We can be this by 2030 if we roll up our sleeves now – not tomorrow, not next month, not in five years, but now. We will have the largest workforce in just over 20 years. What are we going to do about it?

I know the tremendous challenges we have to get us there, but if we are willing then we will be able. We just need to keep disrupting Africa, together!